DIY Deck String Lights

Hi friends! 

How’s everyone’s summer going? The weather has been so nice here, so we have been spending a lot of time outside. One of my favorite things to do in the summer is sit outside on our back deck, have random life chats, and watch the dogs play.

We moved into our home over a year ago now, it’s so hard to believe it’s already been that long. One thing that really sold us on our home is the pretty good size back yard that is fenced in for our pups. That’s really the only thing we cared about when it came to the back yard. We know that the house we are in now will not be our forever home, so we don’t plan on doing much to the back yard, but I knew I wanted to add some sort of charm to it. 

The first thing I did was turn to Pinterest for some back yard inspiration. A lot of the pins that came up were people’s patios with gorgeous twinkling lights surrounding it. Instantly I decided that’s what I wanted.

We did this project about a month ago, so sadly I don’t have pictures of the supplies we bought before we assembled them. Thankfully it is really easy to explain, and I will list everything we bought and try to link most of the supplies. 

Before I explain how we did this.. here’s everything you will need.

  • 2×2’s-8 feet long (we used 5, this could vary depending on your area)
  • Stain (optional, but for reference I used the shade “Early American”
  • Sand Paper (optional)
  • Screws
  • Screw Hooks
  • String Lights

The string lights I linked up above are the exact ones that I purchase off of World Market. I knew I needed them to be at least 30 feet long so I ended up paying $50 for them. If you are not looking to spend as much, I did find a set on Amazon for $35 that I will link right here. Before you order lights, make sure to measure out the area where you want to hang lights, and make your best judgement on how long you think your lights should be. Also figure out how many poles you would like to have. I don’t suggest buying two sets of 10 or 15 ft lights and plugging them in the middle, I think that might look tacky and will probably break up the symmetry of the lights.

The first thing I did was sand down the 2x2s quickly. If you buy the most expensive wood you shouldn’t really have to do this, but we bought the cheaper material (roughly $1.50 a piece) and just sorted through the pile to find the good ones. If you have ever done this, you know what I mean lol. So anyways, since we bought the cheaper wood there were a lot of little splinters that I wanted to sand off before I started staining them.

Once I stained them and let them dry, we went ahead and measured out where we wanted our screw hooks to hang. I decided to go with gold hooks, I have always liked the look of gold over silver. We measured about an inch and a half down on each pole, and screwed them in.

After that, we chose where we wanted our 2×2 poles to get screwed into the deck railing. It’s up to you if you want to put your poles up on your deck on the inside of the railing, or off of your deck on the outside railing. You could even do it off of the ground and just screwed once onto your railing if you choose to do it on the outside. I liked the height the inside the railing gave it. From here, my boyfriend screwed in the poles right to the railing, and then put another screw underneath the deck, through the deck, and into the bottom of the pole. We went through the bottom because in order for our 2×2 to be straight, the bottom of the pole could not lay flat against the deck, because the railing stands out a couple of inches on the top. I hope that makes sense. Either way, just put in a couple screws where your pole will stand straight and feel sturdy.

Last but not least, we hung up our string lights, stapled the ends of the cord to the first and last poles, and plugged them into an extension cord that we ran from under our garage door.

I am absolutely in love with how this quick and easy DIY project turned out, and the best part is, we accomplished it all for around $65! If you find a cheaper pair of lights, or have a smaller space to decorate, you won’t even spend as much as we did.

If you are looking for a way to spruce up your backyard, you should definitely consider this simple DIY project! Let me know in the comments how you have added a personal touch to your front OR back yard, I would love to hear from you!! 🙂

It’s a beautiful day to DIY!






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